Posted by: Tobias | October 24, 2008

Prescott rambling

Brad DeLong links to an email exchange between an Obama supporter and Ed Prescott that you really have to read in its entirety to believe. Prescott comes across not as the winner of the 2004 Nobel laureate in economics, but as some guy on the street rambling uncontrollably about his latest conspiracy theories, completely lacking the sort of nuance and … erm intelligence that I would have expected from someone of that caliber.


  1. Sorry, but I can’t believe that this is not a fake.

  2. I am the student who wasn’t minding his yeast cells. I completely understand those who think that this exchange is fake.

    I was soliciting quotes from Nobel-winning economists, having crossed off the list those who were on record as supporting John McCain. Edward Prescott was not on the list from the June letter as he only endorsed in October (as one of the 100 economists who called Obama’s economic proposals “dangerous”); hence I ended up e-mailing him as well.

    As the exchange unfolded, I was incredulous. At first, I was certain that some teenage niece or nephew had gotten to the uncle’s computer and was responding from the university e-mail account. However, the exchange continued throughout Saturday, with the first letter from Prescott at 12:22 p.m. and the last at 4:11 p.m.

    By the end of Saturday, I had assumed that Prescott was drunk or under the influence of some medication. But then, Sunday morning at 6:45 a.m., I got the last e-mail. After that point, I decided to stop the thread.

    I waited a week before making this public. Given that the last e-mail was sent on Sunday, I doubt that this is a prank or a compromised e-mail account.

    If someone (obviously unrelated to me) were to contact Prescott to verify this exchange, that would be great. I used his Arizona State e-mail address, but for verification, it might make sense to e-mail him at his Federal Reserve address (available in his CV here:

    If you would like to contact me, please e-mail teytelma at berkeley dot edu.

    Leonid Teytelman

  3. You mean the father of RBC theory writing something like this would be a “real shock” to you?

    But geeky jokes aside, I’m still a bit skeptical of the whole thing myself, but not completely unconvinced. Some of what he says does map rather well onto his research interests and what he’s been complaining about these last few years. But I, too, would obviously welcome the sort of independent verification Leonid openly invites above.

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